First of all I am a mum of 3 (twins age 6 and a daughter age 7); keeping your children entertained on rainy days or during holidays etc doesn't need to be expensive.
I thought I would share with the ebay community, a few in-expensive ideas to entertain your children; from paper-mache to egg carton spiders.
During the week we collect all of our packaging from egg cartons to jars, we use these to make a variety of items and the kids really enjoy it.
Our favourite is paper-mache and is fantastic for making a pinata, this year I made a Dora the explorer head for my daughters birthday.
Making the paper-mache:
Making the paste; all you need is 2 cups of flour and 3 cups of water. Mix to a smooth consistency (a bit like custard)
Tear strips out of newspapers (approx 1 inch each)
The best mould for paper-mache is a balloon, simply inflate the balloon and dip the newspaper strips into the paste. Cover the balloon; leaving a hole at the top to remove the balloon when completed. Let the first layer dry completey (approx 24 hours), then apply a further 3-4 layers, ensuring you allow each layer to dry completely. Do not apply more than 4 layers. Remove the balloon as soon as the last layer has dried.
Once completed let your imagination run wild, make faces, animals or even a pinata. You can make ears using paper or card, use wool or tissue paper for the hair.
Making a pinata
Simply follow the steps above, leaving a large enough hole for placing sweets and small toys inside. We have made many pinata designs spiderman, dora, cats, dogs, piglet and many many more.
You can make legs, wings and arms using toilet rolls and paper-mache the balloons for the head and body. Purchase wobbly eyes, wool, paint and tissue paper to decorate. Make 2 small holes at the top to dangle from the ceiling, tree or doorway.
Egg carton spiders
Keep your egg cartons to make a variety of animals, purchase coloured pipe cleaners to make legs and arms. To make the egg carton spider, cut out 1 off the egg carton cups, insert 4 pipe cleaners (at the bottom) to give the spider its 8 legs. Decorate or paint and once completed attach a piece of string to dangle from the ceiling.
Another good egg cup design is the tulip, cut out an egg cup and cut around to make it look like petals. Attach a straw or pipe cleaner for the stem.
Paper plate fish
Purchase plain paper plates, and cut out a wedge of the plate; which can then be glued at the back, giving the fish its tail. Paper plates are woth purchasing as kids can decorate with embellishments and paint them.
Keep your milk tops to make medals, paint the tops and glue a ribbon for hanging around the neck.
It's worth keeping your boxes, for children to make houses, buses, cars and villages.
Making play dough
To make your own play dough you will need:
Simply mix 1 and a half cups of flour with 1/2 a cup of salt.
Add 1/2 a cup of water and 1/4 a cup of oil.
Add food colouring to brighten up the dough, knead the mixture and store in the fridge (cover the dough with a plastic bag)
There are so many ideas, the main point is to let your imagination run wild; with safety in mind.